Do you want to read outside your comfort zone in 2020? Take Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge—a list of 24 categories of books that you may not have read before. To keep you motivated, we’ll feature one of the categories each week in the e-newsletter along with suggestions from our collection and beyond. We’re going to feature the categories in order of how they appear on the list, but feel free to tackle the them in any order you like! For the full list from Book Riot, click here.
The Outsider by Stephen King
An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation…An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. The case seems ironclad, especially when Anderson and the district attorney are able to add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. But Maitland has an alibi, and it turns out his story has incontrovertible evidence of its own. How can two opposing stories be true?
The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft
From across strange aeons comes the long-awaited annotated edition of “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale” (Stephen King). “With an increasing distance from the twentieth century…the New England poet, author, essayist, and stunningly profuse epistolary Howard Phillips Lovecraft is beginning to emerge as one of that tumultuous period’s most critically fascinating and yet enigmatic figures,” writes Alan Moore in his introduction to The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft . Despite this nearly unprecedented posthumous trajectory, at the time of his death at the age of forty-six, Lovecraft’s work had appeared only in dime-store magazines, ignored by the public and maligned by critics. Now well over a century after his birth, Lovecraft is increasingly being recognized as the foundation for American horror and science fiction, the source of “incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction” (Joyce Carol Oates). In this volume, Leslie S. Klinger reanimates Lovecraft with clarity and historical insight, charting the rise of the erstwhile pulp writer, whose rediscovery and reclamation into the literary canon can be compared only to that of Poe or Melville. Weaving together a broad base of existing scholarship with his own original insights, Klinger appends Lovecraft’s uncanny oeuvre and Kafkaesque life story in a way that provides context and unlocks many of the secrets of his often cryptic body of work. Over the course of his career, Lovecraft—”the Copernicus of the horror story” (Fritz Leiber)—made a marked departure from the gothic style of his predecessors that focused mostly on ghosts, ghouls, and witches, instead crafting a vast mythos in which humanity is but a blissfully unaware speck in a cosmos shared by vast and ancient alien beings. One of the progenitors of “weird fiction,” Lovecraft wrote stories suggesting that we share not just our reality but our planet, and even a common ancestry, with unspeakable, godlike creatures just one accidental revelation away from emerging from their epoch of hibernation and extinguishing both our individual sanity and entire civilization. Following his best-selling The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes , Leslie S. Klinger collects here twenty-two of Lovecraft’s best, most chilling “Arkham” tales, including “The Call of Cthulhu,” At the Mountains of Madness , “The Whisperer in Darkness,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” “The Colour Out of Space,” and others. With nearly 300 illustrations, including full-color reproductions of the original artwork and covers from Weird Tales and Astounding Stories , and more than 1,000 annotations, this volume illuminates every dimension of H. P. Lovecraft and stirs the Great Old Ones in their millennia of sleep.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Past the rusted gates and untrimmed hedges, Hill House broods and waits. Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant: Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own….
Goosebumps Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine Lindy finds a ventriloquist’s dummy and has fun learning to make him move and talk. Kris is jealous, and decides to get a dummy of her own. Then nasty evil things begin to happen. No way can a dummy be causing all the trouble. Or is there?